Starting on July 7, Mexico will again allow U.S. potato growers to export their product to locations within 26 kilometers of the border.  In seemingly schizophrenic fashion, Mexico, within the last two months, has both expanded trade opportunities for U.S. potato growers to ship to cities having a population of at least 100,000 people and has also entirely rescinded the importation of all U.S. potatoes.

Due to a recent Maximum Residue Level (MRL) violation on an export shipment of celery to Japan, Western Growers cautions members to be mindful of pesticide/fungicide tolerances when shipping to Japan and any other countries.  While the U.S. may have established domestic tolerances on a particular pesticide/fungicide, other countries may have lower or zero tolerance levels  Such violations will not only place the individual shipper on enhanced surveillance, but in many cases, will increase the surveillance of the entire industry, especially when exporting to countries like Japan.

Ken Gilliland

It’s July 1, and as a result, Western Growers wants to remind members of two important changes that went into effect today.

There is  a new minimum wage in the state of California.  As of today, the minimum wage is now $9.00/hr. The increase is a result of legislation (AB 10) that was passed and signed by Governor Jerry Brown.  The minimum wage will again increase to $10/hr. on January 1, 2016.  A recent attempt to increase the minimum wage to $13/hr. was recently rejected by the Senate Labor Committee in the California State Assembly.

Additionally, as was previously covered in a Spotlight story, new farm labor contractor regulations put in place by the California Division of Labor Standards Enforcement also went into effect today. 

Jason Resnick

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